Identity (Salinor the beginnings Book 2)

Identity (Salinor the beginnings Book 2) a fantasy. Copyright, published and written by Samuel Alexander.

Plot/characters: The ethereally described world of Salinor, after twice putting down tyrannical magician leaders through valiant action of the Alliance composed of non-magicians, again appears to be facing the rise of still another. Drak, the next in line, is a young student of Shalini, a powerful magician from the first book in the series, who has decided to teach the nation’s youth. Through circuitous routes from shared dreams and contacts and subsequent consultation with an eminent seer, word is beginning to spread that the perpetrator will be the bad brother of Lynton, a most well-liked, honorable young man who has been informed he must kill this brother instead of attempting to reform him. He cannot bring himself to kill his own brother and the situation begins to escalate. It is foretold that all of the royal family will be killed and it becomes incumbent upon two of Drak’s class mates, Tilal and Janon, who seem to be amazingly advanced in their magical ability, to protect him. Simultaneously, Cherann, a soldier who has taken a year off to properly train her young brother, Dent, along with Lela the powerful Seer, her sister Shalini and Lynton who we have learned has special powers as the son of the all-powerful dwarfs, proceed with their counteractions to the impending disaster. The plot gradually advances to chaotic levels. The newly led Alliance once more arises and the resulting battles produce wide-spread death and destruction. Tilal becomes a mighty woman warrior and Drak also performs heroic feats. Janon has become a most important and in-demand healer and admires them both. However, as with the protagonists in book one, he also is interested, and increasingly frustrated that his pursuit of a more intimate relationship with Drak is not proceeding in accord with his desires, begins to become a problem, and this volume, as volume one, ‘ends without an ending.’

Discussion: As I said in reviewing the first volume, the author certainly demonstrates a highly imaginative and creative mind and has a fine understanding of the English language. Further, the verbalization flows better in this second book. However once again. the plot and general features of presentation provide a considerably negative reaction. The former is barely discernable and its destination is questionable. The characterization is minimal, they act little and engage in lengthy discussion, often without proper identification, so that the speaker frequently is questionable. Much description is set forth on the various sections of ‘the world’ and the racial differences in appearance and proclivities. Granted, it is interesting but for the most part offers little to the plot. This second in the series stands alone with little brought over from the first book except for the same problem and a couple of characters. But, this also provides another unfortunate feature, at least from this reviewer’s perspective. So much of the first book was projected onto the importance of a prophecy and the part that was to be played especially by one of the protagonist, it was assumed that Book 2 would continue to pursue this thread. Instead, the protagonists have disappeared, except for provision of the missing protagonist’s name being provided as the place of residence of a young boy in this volume. Apparently the prophecy, even though the basis for the first book was not that important?

Conclusion: For the first book in this series was: “A fantasy of possibly epic proportions that no doubt will appeal to readers closely attuned to the genre. Existing problems have been enumerated for others than those so dedicated. The next volume, of course, hopefully will correct many of these features.”

Regrettably, few problems have been eliminated, and several new have been added. Thus, it is conceivable that fantasy devotees probably still may enjoy this second volume, but it sincerely is questionable whether even they will be enthralled.

3* Possibly more for fantasy devotees; questionable level, as described.

Revelations (Salinor. The Beginnings Book 1)

Revelations (Salinor. The Beginnings Book 1) a fantasy written, copyright and published by Samuel Alexander.

Salinor is the name of the all-powerful goddess after which the author’s mythical world is named and according to legend, was established following a harrowing trip made by a human to visit her with hope she would save his mother who had been poisoned by a magician. The rather ethereally described world is populated by several quite different races who have the ability to exert differing skills at varying levels that can be enhanced further by training; e.g. magic, construction, assassination, hunting, love. There also are untrained peasants, who as would be expected are the lowest caste. After establishment of this world, it prospered until, as might be expected, a split formed between the magicians and non-magicians that led to the War of the Beginning. An uneasy peace lasted till the present when desire for power again reared its ugly head with assent of another tyrannical ruler. Members of the old alliance again formed and began initiating a highly dangerous plan to eliminate the new upstart. The obvious need for secrecy was escalated by the ease with which the plan and/or any of its perpetrators could be discovered. And of course, beyond the obvious simple physical infiltration to the group, their ‘enemies’ are magicians controlling every imaginable type of magic including shape-shifting. So, all discussions and activity must be on the ‘need to know’ basis and ‘when the time is right’. There seem to be two main protagonists in the tale. Danais, is a peasant discovered as an abandoned child in the wilderness and raised as a farm worker by his uncle Torak, who as the tale develops, appears in some manner to be involved in the secret plot. There also appears to be growing evidence that this developing young boy is more than the simple peasant he appears. The second is Leo, also an orphan with the same or similar anxieties and introspective tendencies. Unlike Danais however, he has the advantage of being a magician. The story continues with rather lengthy descriptions and/or dialogue interspersed with physical activity considerably magically interlaced that continues to the closing pages where the statement is offered: “The start of the prophecy?” “You and Leo. There are only two people who would want to see you more than we do: the ones who sacrificed the most for the cause. But that will be revealed in due time.” Danais then must leave all he ever has known as he realizes the journey has officially begun. ““Danais,” Leo said again. Again he looked towards Leo, and the two of them shared a smile. “Come””.

Discussion: Quite frankly, this is one of the more difficult reviews I have attempted to write, It is about a story I attempted to enjoy for several reasons. The author certainly exhibits the product of a highly imaginative and creative mind from which a fantasy of large proportions has evolved. He also has introduced two protagonists who are similar in several ways, complex, somewhat unstable, obsessed with their status, introspective and who develop a close relationship. Also supportive characters are presented with enough ‘quirks’ to make them interesting although they often appear ‘unannounced’ and provide answers simply through magic. However and most regrettably for this reader, the plot and general features of presentation provide a considerably negative reaction. Descriptions are unnecessarily detailed and over abundantly supplied. Similarly conversation, often about subjects seemingly unimportant to the story, are set forth in quantity. Both factors not only slow the tale’s progression but deter the reader from the plot itself. A plot that already is quite confusing because everything seems to hinge on a specific factor which eventually ‘sort of ’ reveals itself as the subject to be dealt with in the adventures next episode.

Conclusion: A fantasy of possibly epic proportions that no doubt will appeal to readers closely attuned to the genre. Existing problems have been enumerated for others than those so dedicated. The next volume, of course, hopefully will correct many of these features.

3* 4* for dedicated fantasy readers; 2* for others, as described.